Teacher Preparation

Judging Alternative Routes: Test Scores or No?

By Stephen Sawchuk — August 31, 2009 1 min read

As I note in this story, the National Education Association really went after alternative routes in its comments to the proposed guidelines for the $4.35 billion Race to the Top program. As evidence, NEA listed several studies that found that teachers from alternative routes were either less effective, or no more effective, than other teachers in the classroom.

But all those studies, to one degree or another, rely on student test scores as a measure of teacher effectiveness.

In the same letter, NEA argues that “achievement is much more than a test score ... the tests widely in use in the United States ... typically focus on lower-level skills or recall and recognition.” By that thinking, we shouldn’t really give a whole lot of credence to these studies.

Confused? I am.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.